The terrorist mafia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) is like an octopus whereby each leg is plundering and swallowing the assets of the Iranian people in every field. From dominating the vast construction industry to oil and petrochemicals and having private docks and monopolizing the smuggling of goods and fuel to a multitude of projects using government rents and exemptions from any audit and under the support of the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
However, now, after the unprecedented recession and collapse in the regime’s economy, which has been exacerbated by the crisis of the coronavirus, the terrorist mafia of the IRGC is thinking of swallowing another area of the country’s half-dead economy. The automotive industry is the new target of the IRGC. The industry’s financial transactions amount to $15 billion.
How did it start?
Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran’s regime, said in a speech on May 6, 2020:
“The mindset that can produce a satellite and target the next 36,000-kilometer orbit to send the next satellite can certainly have the creative spirit for car production with 5 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers and in other parts of production.” (State-run news agency Ana)
This was the starting point for the entry of the IRGC Mafia into the automotive industry. According to the Tasnim state-run news agency affiliated with the terrorist Quds Force, IRGC Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the Aerospace Forces commander, whose forces shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane with 176 passengers in January 2020, visited the Iran Khodro factory on May 28, 2020. According to Tasnim, the visit paved the way for the production of low-fuel cars, which the Supreme Leader emphasized. (Tasnim, May 28, 2020)
According to the state-run Ensaf News Agency on June 9, 2020, the IRGC Brigadier General Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force, announced in a joint meeting with the Acting of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade and CEOs of the automotive industry that help is needed for the country’s economy and industry. He announced the start of cooperation to increase quality, reduce costs, reduce fuel consumption and localize the automotive industry.
Continuing the joint meeting, Hossein Modarres Khiabani, Caretaker of the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade, said: “In the two sectors of military and civilian industries, there are considerable capabilities that in some cases the two sides do not know enough about these capacities and therefore, it is necessary to create a link between these two parts.” After the meeting, he said, “We are using technology and facilities in the field of missiles that are related to the automotive industry.”
The IRGC has not yet had any official or announced activities in the field of car manufacturing. In recent years, however, there have been suggestions for the military to enter the automotive industry. Manouchehr Manteghi, the former CEO of Iran Khodro, suggested that in November 2019, the shares of two Automobile Companies, Saipa and Iran Khodro, be transferred to the IRGC Cooperative Foundation.
Meanwhile, the Iranian regime’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami announced in January 2018 that Supreme Leader Khamenei had instructed the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to withdraw “unrelated” economic activities from the armed forces.
However, the entry of the terrorist IRGC and its corrupt commanders into the automotive industry is not, in Khamenei’s view, “unrelated economic activity.”
Also, on May 19, 2020, a report by the regime’s parliament from Iran Khodro and Saipa Automobile Companies stated that the involvement of security agencies in these companies had increased their corruption and losses.
It is not clear why, despite opposition from parliament and warnings about the activities of security agencies in the automotive sector, military institutions have entered the field.
According to statistics from the International Organization of Vehicle Manufacturers, Iran’s car production in 2015 decreased by 25% compared to the previous year, reaching 821,000 units, of which 770,000 units were passenger cars.
Despite the sharp decline in car production in Iran, the car market, valued at up to $15 billion a year, is still one of the most important and attractive markets for production and brokerage in Iran’s bankrupt economy.
Thus, it is clear that in the era of the bankruptcy of the regime’s economy and the impact of economic sanctions, especially on institutions and companies affiliated with the IRGC due to terrorist and nuclear activities and warmongering in the region, now the octopus of the IRGC intends to devour the country’s half-dead automotive industry.